Herschel V. “June” Sellers Jr., 93, of Lookout Mountain, a retired naval officer and UTC math professor, died on Tuesday, May 10, 2011. He was born in Baxley in 1917 and received degrees from the U.S. Naval Academy and Purdue University.
Herschel was awarded the Bronze Star medal for meritorious service during WW II and his ship the USS Wiley on which he was an executive officer received the Presidential Unit Citation. After the war his assignments included tours of duty on both the U.S. Navy destroyers, the USS Ellyson and the U.S. Laffey as the commanding officer. He displayed a courageous effort to rescue the survivors aboard the listing aircraft carrier USS Yorktown during the Battle of Midway, a turning point of WW II. Herschel’s caring spirit and boundless energy led him to give generously of his time and resources in helping others. He was a member of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Lookout Mountain, Tenn., where he served on the vestry, sang in the choir, and was manager of plant operations. He volunteered at Orange Grove Center, Scenic Land School, North Chattanooga Neighborhood House, and Erlanger Hospital. He was a charter member of the Chattanooga Tennis Foundation and served as the treasurer of the Chattanooga Tennis Association. Herschel was a member of the Chattanooga Civitan Club, the Mountain City Club, the Fairyland Club, and the Manker Patten Tennis Club. As an accomplished tennis player he was active in the sport throughout his life playing until a few months ago.
He was preceded in death by Robinette Bell Sellers, his wife of 65 years and two brothers, Frank Sellers, Appling County and Collier Sellers, Appling County.
He is survived by his children, Suzanne (Bill) Gaither, of Cary N.C., Herschel (Carolyn) Sellers III, of St. Louis, Mo., and Mary (David) Gott, of Lookout Mountain; sisters, Willanelle Wilcox, Esta Fredrikson, Julia Hailey and Betty Bennett, five grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service was held at noon on Monday, May 16, at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Lookout Mountain, Tenn. Interment followed at Chattanooga National Cemetery.
Herschel was chosen to be part of the Veterans History Project. His interview can be accessed online in the Library of Congress.